Using your insurance

Using your insurance:

  1. Put your health first.

    • Staying healthy is important.
    • Get regular check-ups.
    • Keep all your health information in one place.
  2. Understand your plan.

    • Check with your insurance plan to see what services are covered by your plan.
    • Be familiar with your copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance.
    • Know the difference between in-network and out-of-network.
  3. Find a medical provider.

    • Ask people you trust.
    • Check your plan’s provider network.
    • If you are assigned a provider, contact your plan if you want to change.
    • Do research on the Internet.
  4. Make an appointment.

    • Mention that you’re a new patient.
    • Provide the name of your insurance plan.
    • Tell them the name of the provider you want to see and why you want an appointment.
    • Ask for days or times that work for you.
  5. Be prepared for the 1st visit.

    • Have your insurance card with you.
    • Make a list of medicines you are taking.
    • Bring a list of questions to discuss with the provider and take notes during your visit.
    • Bring someone with you to help if you need.
  6. Decide if you like the provider.

    • You should feel comfortable with, understand, and be able to communicate with your provider.
    • Remember: it is okay to change to a different provider.
  7. After your appointment.

    • Follow your provider’s instructions.
    • Fill any prescriptions you were given.
    • Schedule a follow-up visit if necessary.
    • Contact your insurance plan or provider with any questions.

The seven steps above are a great starting point

Download the full guide (PDF, 2MB) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: From Coverage to Care: A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You.


You can learn more about how to use your new insurance coverage and get more information on topics like:

  • Common coverage questions
  • Getting prescription medications
  • Getting regular medical care
  • Getting emergency care
  • Using coverage and improving your health
  • Appealing an insurance company decision

Next: Medicare/Medicaid